Friday, March 29, 2019

Oonah Lessware wins student bursary award for 2019

We congratulate Oonah Lessware for winning this year's CNS Student Bursary, awarded in memory of Prof Ursula Henriques and Dr Mary Gillham.

Oonah received her award at the meeting on 11 March 2019 from Mike Dean (photo by Andy Kendall). She delivered a fascinating talk about her fieldwork project looking at the responses of coral reef fish to coral damage.

Oonah Lessware writes:
"An assessment of coral reef fish assemblages and how they may shift towards or away from specialism in response to coral damage, bleaching or death.

The study aimed to gauge the effects that global climate change and therefore coral reef bleaching and mortality will have on reef fish assemblages. The goal was to determine whether the reef fish assemblages will shift towards becoming more generalist or specialist in response to coral damage or death. The reefs in this study were within the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine park in Sabah Borneo. Species richness and abundance data was collected for both generalist and specialist fish species and areas of varying coral damage and death were sampled. The general findings showed that both generalist and specialist species significantly decreased in abundance and species richness as the amount of coral damage increased."

Photo after a beach clean in the marine park by Oonah Lessware.

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